Governor appoints Regents

Jane B. Wyman

Jane B. Wyman

Allison Rosewicz

Experience is the key component of two new members on the Missouri Southern Board of Regents.

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden appointed Jane B. Wyman of Alba and Dwight Douglas of Joplin to the Board in order to fill two vacancies.

“We need to have our full contingent of Regents, obviously,” said College President Julio León. “With these appointments, we already have an experienced regent and another individual who has been a Board member at another university. So they know what higher education is all about. I’m very pleased with the appointments.”

Wyman, 53, is an attorney in Carthage and a past member of Southern’s Board. She replaces Loretta Wilcox, whose term expired.

Wyman left the Board in 2001 after being appointed Jasper County Associate Circuit Judge. She is a member of the Jasper County Women’s Law Association and is the director of the Jasper County Association for Social Services, Inc.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Southern, and earned her law degree from the University of Tulsa. Because she is a Southern graduate, Wyman feels a loyalty to the College.

“I have a commitment to serve the school in any way I can,” she said.

Normally, people interested in becoming a Regent at any Missouri college or university must submit a resumé and letter to the governor’s office. Then they must go through an interview process. But because Wyman had been on the Board before, the governor’s office already had her resumé and letter. She said an anonymous person recommended her for the position.

“I was happy to go back on the Board,” Wyman said.

Douglas, 59, is an attorney at Douglas and Douglas Law Firm in Neosho. He serves as corporate counsel for Freeman Neosho Hospital. He has also served on the Missouri Safe Drinking Water Commission.

Douglas served on the Southwest Missouri State Board of Regents from 1981-1987. He also spent 10 years as a leader for the Crowder College Foundation.

Douglas was appointed to Southern’s Board after a recommendation from State Sen. Gary Nodler. Douglas has known Nodler for years.

“I told him I would be happy to serve if Gov. Holden made the appointment,” Douglas said.

He looks at this new appointment as another opportunity to help higher education.

Wyman and Douglas have been officially appointed by Holden, but they must still receive Senate confirmation. León said that should occur soon when the appointment committee for boards and commissions meets.

“I don’t anticipate any problems with that,” Douglas said. “But it will take a couple more weeks.”

León said the experience Wyman and Douglas bring will help the College.

“We have some serious issues to deal with,” León said. “These are difficult times. We need people who are well-versed with the situation in higher education. They have gone through this before. That’s going to be valuable for all of us.”

Both Wyman and Douglas said helping Southern through the state budget crisis will be their biggest challenge.

“The challenge will be how we cut costs and still provide quality education,” Douglas said.

Douglas also said he wants a master’s degree program along with a name change implemented at the College. He also wants better cooperation between Crowder College and Southern in coordinating associate degrees.

Wyman said she wants to “make sure the College is funded as fully as it can be by the state.” She also seeks better communication between Southern and the legislature in Jefferson City.

“Obviously, right now we’re all concerned about the budget situation,” León said. “But we’re also looking at some exciting things such as the name change. So we hope that we can be successful in that regard.”